Russia, Ukraine start new round of peace talks

Istanbul: Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday kicked off a fresh round of peace talks here in yet another attempt to reach a ceasefire in the ongoing Moscow-Kiev war.

Shortly before the meeting started at the Dolmabahce Presidential Working Office in Istabul’s Besiktas district, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the time had come for talks to yield concrete results, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Turkish leader called for an immediate ceasefire and said a prolonged conflict is not in anyone’s interest.

“The world is waiting for good news from you. We are ready for any contribution that can make your job easier,” Erdogan said, adding that Turkey is ready to host a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders.

Since February 28, Russia and Ukraine have held three rounds of in-person talks in Belarus, and their fourth session was in a video conference format.

Among other things, Russia is demanding that Ukraine abandon any intention of joining NATO, an issue Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is willing to compromise on.

Other issues expected to be discussed include the fate of separatist-held regions in Ukraine’s east, as well as the status of Crimea, which was formally annexed by Russia in 2014.

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